Army's Keran Anti-infiltration Operation Still Under Lens

Army's Keran Anti-infiltration Operation Still Under Lens

13 November 2013
Times of India


New Delhi: The dust over the Army's 15-day operation in the Keran sector, against what it called a group of '30-40 terrorists and Pakistani special troops' who had intruded across the Line of Control (LoC) in J&K, is yet to settle. The defence establishment is still at loggerheads with some elements of the intelligence-police combine, which hold that there was no evidence on ground to suggest any major infiltration bid in the area. At a security meeting here earlier this month, some participants also expressed the view that the Army should fortify its 'reception areas' along the LoC that are used to trap infiltrators. As per the anti-infiltration grid put in place by the Army, such areas are earmarked 4-5 km on the Indian side of the LoC. As earlier reported by TOI, many questions have been left unanswered about the major operation launched by the Army, with special forces, helicopters and spy drones, in the thickly-forested, high-altitude Shala Bhata area in the Keran sector. After initially claiming to have killed 15 of the intruders after 'surrounding them from three sides' after the first contact on September 24, the Army had called off the operation 15 days later. But no bodies or even arms were found in the exact spot. The Army, however, claimed eight bodies of terrorists and 59 weapons, including 18 AK-47 assault rifles, radio sets and a huge cache of ammunition, were found in adjoining areas of Fateh Galli and Gujjartur. Some police officials, however, told the security meeting that the Army claims were not backed by technical intelligence.